Friday, December 02, 2011
I had a rather irate mother come in to see me the other night. She explained that one of my educators had critiqued her daughter's artwork - had said it wasn't very good - that she had used too many sparkles.
Now my first thought was "how in god's name do you use too many sparkles?? One can never have too many sparkles!!!" I asked the mother (and subsequently the daughter) for details. Art critiquing does NOT happen in any of my programs........ EVER.
When I started to investigate the accusation - I discovered that not only was this child critiqued (and yes as far as this child is concerned SHE was critiqued) but there have been other children critiqued and one was driven to tears.
Then I discovered that some of my staff - to avoid the finished product from being less than perfect - have actually been doing most of the work for the children. For example - in another group - the sparkle project (which was a tree ornament) was being executed by giving the children an ornament each and some glue - when they had put the glue on the ornament - the ornament was then given to the educator who proceeded to pick the best colour of sparkles and to add the sparkles themselves. WTF?????? My staff has been cutting out and sparkling and turning out tree ornaments.......... for the children to take home. HUH???
I didn't know how to react - honestly I didn't. I fluctuated between anger - confusion - and back to anger. How much fun is it to sit there while the adults in your life do all the fun stuff??? and you only get to watch.
So the next morning I went in to school - grabbed a basket of Xmas card templates I wanted the kids to make... put out some markers and some sparkles and some scissors and sat down and waited. It didn't take long - I soon had a table full of kids colouring and cutting and laughing ....the cards weren't cut professionally - some had ragged edges - they weren't folded exact - but they did have sparkles on them.. lots and lots of sparkles.
Modeling appropriate behaviours works well with children - but obviously not so well with grown ups. I still don't have the solution to correct this OCD perfectionist attitude... but trust me - I will - even if it means doing every damn Christmas project myself with the kids (which truthfully sounds like a whole lot more fun than the paper work I should be doing)
Merry Christmas and a bah humbug!